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Torts
University of Oklahoma College of Law
Tabb, Murray

 
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
Tort- a civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
            French –Tort- Wrong
            Latin- Tortus- Twisted
Purpose of Tort Law
            Provide peaceful means for adjusting the rights of parties
            To deter unlawful conduct
            To encourage socially responsible behavior
            To restore injured parties (compensation)
Trespass v. Trespass On the Case
            Trespass- immediate and direct forcible injury to person or property. Unintentional or intentional. Negligence or intent not       required.
            Trespass On the Case- injuries that were intended but neither forcible nor direct. Plaintiff must show injury and intent, or         negligence.
Modern Tort Liability
            Based on Intent of defendant
            Negligence of defendant
            Strict Liability
What interest does the law seek to protect?
                        Bodily intergrity
Do we want to use objective or subjective tests?
            Objective- no bias and predictable
 
INTENTIONAL TORTS
Requirements for intentional torts          
            A. Voluntary Act
            B. Intent
                        Purpose- or desire to cause the consequences OR;
                        Knowledge with substantial certainty that harm will follow           
                        Ie. may intend to pull trigger but must be a substantial certaintity that harm will result (not liable for injuriyng a                                     person in the desert by pulling a trigger with belief no one is around) was that belief reasonable
            C. Causation
            D. Capacity to form requisite intent- children, mental retardation call capacity into question
Good faith no exception
Transferred Intent
            If defendant intends any one of 5 torts (a, b, l, c, fi) intentional torts and accomplishes them he is liable regardless if it’s an         unintended plaintiff.
BATTERY
A battery occurs when (1) an actor (2) with intent,(3) causes (4) harmful or offensive (5) Touching (6) of another person
            Harm is qualitative not quantitative
            Actual physical contact not required
            What is harmful or offensive? Reasonable person objective standard
            Awareness is not required
What interests trying to protect?
                        To protect form nonconsensual invasion of personal integrity- dignitary tort
ASSAULT
Assault occurs when defendant’s (1) acts (2) intends (3)to cause (4) a victims apprehension of (5) an apparent (6) imminent (7) harmful or offensive contact.
            Defendant must desire or be sub cert that apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive conduct will occur.
           Words not enough
What interests trying to protect?
            Emotional integrity
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
When a defendant (1) intentionally (2) confines or restrains, (3) without consent or privilege, (4) against the will of an individual (5) who is aware of, or harmed by, (6) the actual confinement; and (7) is unaware of any reasonable escape.
            Duration not required but may affect damages
            Confinement: physical barriers, force or threat of immediate force against victim, family, those in immediate presence
            Consciousness of confinement at time of imprisonment  
            Reasonableness of restraint depends upon context- time, place, setting           
Rules:
            Must be confinement without escape and total obstruction.
                        Bird v. Jones   (Guy tries cross bridge. Partly blocked. Causes a scene)
            Victim must be aware of imprisonment or harmed by it.
                        Parvi v. City of Kingston (Drunk guy kept in squad car. Dumped on abandoned golf course. Wanders off and gets hit              by car.)
                        Herring v. Boyle (Headmaster won’t let mom take son home Christmas because she has not paid.) 
            Evidence must establish a restraint against the Π’s will, as where he yields to force, to the threat of force, or the assertion of                   authority. If submission is voluntary, then no false imprisonment.
                        Faniel v. Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. of Maryland (Lady had too many lines in house. Supervisors took her.                  Left her in car. She chose to go.)
            False imprisonment arises when someone in control bars someone from escaping through physical impediments, not                                     necessarily four walls. Boat surrounded by water.
                        Whittaker v. Sandford (Cult lady wants out. Taken to Main from Israel on leader’s boat. Won’t dock to let her off. )     Fear of economic loss not argument for false imprisonment.
            Fear of physical restraint argument of false imprisonment.
What interests trying to protect?
            freedom of mobility
FALSE ARREST
Conviction of the crime a complete defense.
IIED
Violation of the right to be free of serious, intentional invasions of mental and emotional tranquility.
when the defendant, by extreme and outrageous conduct, intentionally or recklessly causes the victim severe mental distress.
            Conduct must be extreme
            There must be intent or recklessness
            Causal connection
            Nature of the distress itself must be severe – quantitative and narrow liability
The Restatement defines extreme and outrageous conduct as behavior which is “beyond all possible bounds of decency and to be         regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.” [Restatement § 46 cmt. d.] Rules:
            A Δ who intentionally subjected another to mental distress without intending to cause bodily harm would nevertheless be                     liable for resulting bodily harm if he should have foreseen that the mental distress might cause such harm.
                        State Rubbish Collector’s Ass’n v. Siliznoff (

             land, if the actor fails to remove it after the consent has terminated, or failure to remove after privilege has been                      terminated.
                        Rogers v. Board of Road Com’rs for Kent County (Lady sues because they did not remove an anchor post.)
            Possessor of land brings the claim. True owner cannot unless in possession of land. If intruder is owner or has permission                    of owner, he wins.
                        Graham v. Peat (Guy leased land from rector).
Qualitative
What interest trying to protect?
            Exclusive right of possession, historical importance of land
NUISANCE
substantial & unreasonable or intentionally interferes w/ use and enjoyment of land, must be a substantial effect
Quantitative      
What interest trying to protect?
            Use and enjoyment
Trespass and Nuisance have different SOL
            Trespass- when invasion occurs
            Nuisance- when discovered or substantial effects
TRESPASS TO CHATELS
Trespass to chattel is the intentional interference with the right of possession of personal
            property.
 
Rules:
            Must be in full possession for trespass to chattels.
                        Young v. Hichens (Fish.)
            One who without privilege to do so, uses or otherwise intentionally intermeddles with a chattel which is in possession of         another is liable for a trespass to such person if,
                        a) the chattel is impaired as to its condition quality or value,
                        b) the possessor is deprived of the use of the chattel for a substantial time, or
                        c) bodily harm is thereby caused to the possessor or harm is caused to some person or thing in which the possessor                     has a legally protected interest
What interests trying to protect?
            The intrinsic use value of personal property
CONVERSION
Must be in possession
The unlawful turning or applying the personal goods of another to the use of the taker, or of some other person than the owner; or          the unlawful destroying or altering their nature.
“an intentional exercise of dominion and control over a chattel which so seriously interferes and substantially deprives with the right     of another to control it that the actor may justly be required to pay the other the full value of the chattel.”